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Emmy Award-winning conductor runs workshops for young Wellington musicians


Miguel Harth-Bedoya conducts young musicians from New Zealand School of Music’s Orchestra at Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre on 15 September. Credit: Latitude Creative

Press Release – NZSO
An Emmy Award-winning and Grammy Award-nominated conductor has inspired musicians as young as six years old with a series of workshops and classes in Wellington.

Acclaimed United States-based Peruvian Miguel Harth-Bedoya has been brought to the Capital by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for the sessions with young musicians, composers and conductors, ahead of conducting the Orchestra on 27 September.

Last week at the Michael Fowler Centre, Maestro Harth-Bedoya conducted about 50 young musicians, ranging in age from six to 16, from Lower Hutt-based Arohanui Strings. The young musicians were also mentored by NZSO players.

“The experiences with what I call ‘pre-professional’ musicians is equal or more powerful than with professional musicians. It’s always about the music. The language of music can be applied to absolutely any age level or ethnicity,” says Maestro Harth-Bedoya.

Arohanui Strings Director Alison Eldredge says the young musicians had a great day learning from the conductor.

“Drawing the analogy of a sport coach, Miguel said we can always improve our game. We loved the chance to be on stage with NZSO mentors too.”

The conductor, whose international achievements include Chief Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Music Director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, also led a workshop and rehearsal with about 45 musicians from Wellington Youth Orchestra.

His other engagements included rehearsals with members of the New Zealand School of Music’s 70-piece NZSM Orchestra and a workshop with three NZSM conducting students. The three students were given the opportunity to conduct ensembles from Wellington Symphonic Bands.

Conducting students from the NZSO Fellowship Programme met Maestro Harth-Bedoya and watched him rehearse with the NZSO and given the opportunity to briefly conduct the Orchestra

At the weekend, the conductor met four young New Zealand composers at a seminar organised by the Latin America Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence.

Maestro Harth-Bedoya leads the NZSO for its Eroica concert in Wellington on Sunday, with NZSO Concertmaster Vesa-Matti Leppänen as soloist for Sibelius’ legendary Violin Concerto.

The conductor has been visiting New Zealand since 1995. Along with regularly conducting the NZSO, he and his family lived in Auckland while he was Music Director of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra from 1998 to 2005.

This year he became Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Nebraska and he has also established The Conducting Institute, which offers a summer orchestral conducting programme and online courses.

Maestro Harth-Bedoya won an Emmy for a Hollywood Bowl concert, and two Grammy Award nominations for Best Opera Recording and Best Instrumental Soloist Performance with Orchestra.

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